Two 3D models of mollusk shells showing predation traces.

Virtual Collection: Predation Traces

This virtual collection was last curated by Jonathan Hendricks on June 11, 2019. Each model is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Unless otherwise indicated, each model was created by Emily Hauf using specimens at the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, New York.

Predation traces (Praedichnia)


Repair scars


A fossil specimen of the gastropod Conus adversarius from the Plio-Pleistocene of Highlands County, Florida (PRI 53499). This specimen is from the collections of the Paleontological Research Institution. This species of cone snail is remarkable in that it is sinistral: its shell coils to the left. All other cone snails, and most other gastropods, have dextral shells that open on the right-hand side. The cracks on the shell are repair scars (Caedichnus) left behind by crab predators; in each case, the snail survived the attack. The specimen is 82.4 mm in length.

Drill holes


Fossil specimen of the bivalve oyster Ostrea coxi from the Plio-Pleistocene of Sarasota County, Florida (PRI 40844). The drill hole in shell was produced by a predatory snail. Specimen is from the collections of the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, New York. Longest dimension of specimen is approximately 6 cm.


Fossil specimen of the bivalve Laevitrigonia ecplecta from the Cretaceous Lopez de Bertodano Formation of Antarctica. The drill hole on the shell was made by a predatory snail. Specimen is from the collections of the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, New York. Length of specimen is approximately 4.5 cm.